Early Literacy Tips for Parents & Caregivers Workshop

For those non-library professionals, this may read a little boring. Apologies! I promise more fun fingerplays, songs and book suggestions soon. From time to time at Anne Arundel County Public Libraries, we have the opportunity to sharpen our skills and do additional training. For this training, we’re discussing our transition to the current Every Child Ready to Read Initiative, the challenges that we face when we’re integrating tips, and some ideas that we can use to integrate them into every aspect of our library service.

AACPL Guideline Changes

-Emphasis on at least one comfortable tip, two if it works

-Adjustment from Literacy Skills (Phonological Awareness, Vocabulary, Print Awareness, Print Motivation, Letter Knowledge) to Early Literacy Practices (Talk, Read, Play, Write, Sing). So, visually shifting from the Tree, to the Sun.


This does not mean that the Literacy Skills are unimportant, but that they are easily described from the view of the Practices (filtered, as it will).

Challenges of Integrating Early Literacy Tips

·         Obvious- If parents are coming to storytime, it seems like they’re on the right track! They may already know these things!

·         Presumptuous- Who am I to tell parents what to do with their children?

·         Awkward- How can I tell them without sounding uncomfortable?

Key: Everyone can learn something new about children, so even if parts are known to parents, others may not know them. Just as we are constantly learning new things to integrate into storytime, parents are into their time with kids at home.


Guideline Integration

When you….[Tip]

It develops…. [Literacy Skill]

Which research shows helps kids to be prepared to read because… [Reason]

Example: When you sing with your children, it develops phonological awareness, which research shows [slows down the syllables to break up the words. This makes words easier to understand later.] Example: When you’re singing, it slows down the words to help kids to understand.

Further: Sing with your children to slow down the words.



Example: Talk, Vocabulary, Reader’s Advisory

Offer a customer a specific book which has more difficult language, explaining that it helps to use those more difficult words to expose children to the language.

Example: Write, Letter Knowledge, Content

Show kids that they can draw shapes on our heat board to practice.

More Ideas from Our Brainstorm 

  • Storytime Table- leave books related to the theme outside of the storytime so that parents know they can check them out
  • To turn a regular piece of furniture into an ELS flannel table (non-permanently) use Velcro strips
  • Tape letters or shapes on the floor. While the kids walk on the tape, say the letter sound. Or have them go into the appropriate shape when asked to do so.
  • Write a story as you tell it to emphasize writing as an early literacy practice (Write and Tell stories) (Draw and Tell stories)
  • Use activities instead of crafts to emphasize practices (example: shaving cream to do letters)

Tip Ideas

  • “Singing changes and calms the tone in the room, getting kids and parents attention.”
  • “Coloring is about developing muscle strength and coordination, so to practice those things the drawing should not look like mine.” Others: “Cutting, small motor skills, etc”

ELS Integration into Summer Reading Theme

-movement storytimes, activities and books

This entry was posted in Coursework, Early Literacy, Preschool, Public Library and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Early Literacy Tips for Parents & Caregivers Workshop

  1. Pingback: Preschool Storytime: Clouds, Shaving Cream, Shapes and Letters | Elaine Conway

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